Jobs Involving English Literature

Oct 20, 2021

Career Options Involving English Literature

English literature offers you insight into the world of writing and books. When you have a strong interest in the subject, and may have studied it or are consider studying it in school, you often want to ensure that you can pursue a career straight afterwards. Below are some strong career choices that involve English literature.

Job Title Median Salary (2020)* Job Growth (2019-2029)*
English Literature Professor $80,790 9%
Journalist $49,300 (for all reporters and correspondents) -11% (for all reporters and correspondents)
Librarian $60,820 5%
Publishing Editor $63,400 (for all editors) -7% (for all editors)
Advertising Copywriter $67,120 (for all writers and authors) -2% (for all writers and authors)
High School Teacher $62,870 4%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Careers Information for Jobs Involving English Literature

English Literature Professor

As one of the key jobs that will involve the use of English literature on an everyday basis, becoming a professor of English literature is always a career choice to consider. As a professor, an average day would involve educating college students at the undergraduate or graduate levels on various literature texts, often from a set period. However, you would also be responsible for contributing towards important research for the university that you work at. You would also be required to be educated at the master's or doctorate level in the subject.


If your interest in English literature has sparked a further interest in writing, you might find a career as a journalist fulfilling. Journalists can write about literature as a specialty, which may include writing for literary publications or magazines that focus on writing. Although the BLS suggests that there will be a decline in job opportunities due to the nature of print media's future, you may find success with online journalism and blogging, in particular. To begin a career in journalism, you're likely to need a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or communications, and work experience in the field.


Perhaps the appeal of English literature is down to your love of reading? When that's the case, a career as a librarian could prove fulfilling for you. Alongside working with books on a daily basis, librarians work in private, public, or academic libraries, and conduct research and find information as a part of their job role. To become a librarian, you would need a master's degree in library science and, if working as a public school librarian, teacher certification.

Publishing Editor

Another strong career option that is closely related to reading and writing would be the job of an editor. As an editor, you will oversee and edit pieces of writing for the publication that you work for. Although editing careers do appear to be on the decline, according to the BLS, it only seems to be in the traditional sense. Editors focused on online formats will be more advantageous at finding jobs within the industry. For this reason, after obtaining a degree in journalism or English, you should look to gain online writing and editing experience that can prove your suitability for a career as an online editor.

Advertising Copywriter

When you're interested in writing, embarking on a copywriting career could allow you to keep your love of literature alive. Copywriters can write for a range of industries and topics, allowing you to write for book publishers or other literature-related businesses as a specialty. Daily tasks will involve writing various pieces of copy for the campaigns and advertising projects they're working on. Again, as the industry pattern tends to suggest, the availability of writing jobs isn't huge according to the BLS. However, copywriters for online publications and advertising are more in demand. The BLS also suggests that there is likely to be strong competition for these jobs, so alongside being educated at the bachelor's degree level, gaining writing experience or undertaking an internship will work in your favor.

High School Teacher

If you'd like a career choice that does seem to have an increase in job opportunities, you should give the career of a high school teacher consideration. As a teacher, you could choose to specialize in the subject of English, which would see you educating students in English literature. But your daily duties will often involve more than just teaching literature, as you will have to grade papers and create class content too. To become a high school teacher, you will need to complete a bachelor's degree, preferably in English, and a teacher education program in order to be licensed to teach by the state you work in.

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